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On the Suffering of the World (Penguin Great Ideas) [Kindle Edition]

Arthur Schopenhauer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.


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About the Author

Arthur Schopenhauer was born in Danzig in 1788. He went on to study medicine and science at Gottingen University and in 1810 began to study philosophy. In 1811 he transferred to Berlin to write his doctoral thesis, and began to write The World as Will and Idea, a complete exploration of his philosophy, which was finished in 1818. Although the book failed to sell, his belief in his own views sustained him through twenty-five years of frustrated desire for fame. In 1844 brought a much expanded edition of his book, which after his death became one of the most widely read of all philosophical works. His fame was established in 1851 with the publication of Parerga and Paralipomena. He died in 1860.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1113 KB
  • Print Length: 133 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0141018941
  • Publisher: Penguin; Rev Ed edition (2 Sept. 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004CRSIX8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #249,559 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, funny, breathtaking, insightful 15 Mar. 2011
By Yay!! TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Schopenhauer is funny and smart, his sarcasm knows no bounds. He's often called "dark" but I disagree, he's sarcastic, insightful and pithy, but that adds to the impact of his work.

"For the Creator created not only the world, he also created possiblity itself: therefore he should have created the possibility of a better world than this one".

Consider the Creator to be officially told off - work is just not up to scratch!!
I can't help laughing at his boundless wit.

Superb set of essays.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy speaking about life. 17 Aug. 2008
By Bruno VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world.' So begins the first, and title essay, of this pocket sized sample of the work of the 19th century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. This little book doesn't, however, just serve as a sublime introduction to the 'philosopher of pessimism', it also serves to demonstrate how philosophy can sometimes, after all, speak about life itself. For here, in 132 pages, are collected some of the most profound, if darkly pessimistic, observations on human existance ever written.

Schopenhauer has been all too often unfairly neglected by British Academic philosophy, something not mirrored on the continent, where as much space is devoted to him on the bookshelves as the likes of Nietzsche and Hegel. The structural foundations of his great philosophical system might have left many unconvinced, but there is no doubting that his attempts to combine the metaphysics of Plato and Kant, together with the wisdoms contained in hinduism and buddhism, produced something unique, terrifying and yet oddly consolling. Underlying Schopenhauer's synthesis of West and East, was his own vividly felt insight that human life and the world itself was inherently irrational and blind, a lived intuition that throughout this collection is captured in prose that is both beautifully clear and strikingly prophetic - he wrote decades before Darwin and Freud, yet both thinkers are remarkably presaged here...as well as the violence and destruction of the 20th century. His reputation as one of the greatest German philosophers may wax and wane on this side of the channel, but even in translation, nobody could possibly deny his standing as one of the greatest of German writers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life, art and writing 20 Nov. 2010
By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This small book is a good introduction to Schopenhauer's work. Besides his (pessimistic) view on life, death, religion and women, it contains his very influential view on art and writing.

Art
True art reveals out of the endless confusion with a single scene, mood or sensation an essential aspect of life or the nature of man. True art leads one from that which exists only once and never again (the phenomena, the individual, the actuality) to the enduring element in all change. Works of genius contain an unpremeditated, unintentional, unconscious and instinctive element.
For Schopenhauer, music (not opera) is the true universal language (pure weal and woe). Poetry is the art of setting the imagination in action by means of words, while the novel will be higher and nobler the more inner and the less outer life it depicts.

Writers and writing
For Schopenhauer, there are two kinds of writers: those who write for the sake of what they have to say and those who write for the sake of writing (for money).
A multitude of bad writers lives exclusively on the stupid desire of the public: the journalists (in English: day-labourers).
Obscurity and vagueness of expression are always a bad sign: what is clearly thought easily finds it appropriate expression. Those who put together difficult, obscure, ambiguous discourses want to conceal that they have nothing to say.

World, life, death, suicide
For Schopenhauer, `the world is Hell. Life is the expiation for the crime of being born. It is a process of disillusionment. One begins in madness of carnal desire and end in the dissolution of all our parts.'
`Nothing in the world a man has a more incontestable right to than his own life and person.
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